Important Information Relating to Undergraduate Student Assessment
Assessments and associated regulations within the current academic year (2019/20) have been modified in light of the ongoing COVID-19 situation. These changes have been made to support you in your studies at this difficult time. We want to ensure that you are able to complete your assessments and achieve your full potential as we all face new challenges in our lives.
This information applies to all standard UG courses which are not regulated by a Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Body (PSRB). It may still apply to you if you are on a regulated course and if this is the case your School will notify you.
If you are a Postgraduate Taught student please note that Postgraduate Taught courses vary more than they do for Undergraduate courses in terms of their structure and assessments. This means it is not possible to implement a universal policy in the same way; measures will be put into place to help you but they will need to work for your exact course. More advice will follow next week.
Please read the full information for the detail you need but the summary box highlights the key information published.
Summary of key information
- The original published submission date for your coursework is the ‘standard’ submission date and you are encouraged to work to this date. The original published date will remain visible and unchanged on Evision. Please note this is the first deadline you were given not an extension.
- You can automatically submit your coursework up to 10 working days after the standard date. You do not need to request this or submit evidence to support your extension. This would be referred to as a ‘Phase 1’ submission. This will not incur a late submission penalty.
- If you choose not to submit within Phase 1 due to your circumstances then you will be eligible for a first attempt submission with a final deadline of 3 August 2020. Again, you do not need to request this or submit evidence in support of your extension. This would be referred to as a ‘Phase 2’ submission. This will not incur a late submission penalty.
- The piece of coursework you are working on will typically be the same regardless of the deadline you are working to (standard, Phase 1 or Phase 2). There may be cases where this is not appropriate due to the nature of the work and if this applies to you then your module organiser will tell you.
- You should choose when to submit your assignment within these three options, based on your personal circumstances. Having more time will be the best option for some students, but for others it will be best to hand the work in on the original schedule. This is an individual choice which only you can make, but we would encourage students to contact their academic advisers if they would like further support and guidance.
- Please note that if you submit your coursework within Phase 2 and need reassessment because you receive a fail mark then it is possible depending on your academic circumstances that you will provisionally progress academically. This means that will need to complete your reassessment in the next academic year alongside your other studies. For this reason you should try to work within the Phase 1 submission deadline and only make use of Phase 2 if you feel this is the only way you will be able to complete your work in your current circumstances. Completing within Phase 1 will enable you to take a reassessment item within the current academic year should you need to.
- If your circumstances mean that you are not going to be able to submit your work before the final deadline of 3 August 2020, then you must submit an Extenuating Circumstances (EC) request as soon as possible and ideally ahead of 3 August 2020. This request will be for a further deferment of submission. Please provide evidence if you have it already, but we understand that this may not always be possible and we will consider your request with this in mind.
- If you don’t submit by 3 August 2020 and have not submitted an EC request then this will be considered as a non-submission fail. Your academic progression will then be managed through compensation or reassessment as relevant.
- If you submit your work late (after 3 August 2020) without an agreed EC request for deferment of submission then late submission penalties will apply, which may make the difference between a pass and fail mark.
- You only have ONE first submission for each piece of work. Once your work is submitted it will be sent for marking and cannot be resubmitted. Therefore if you need longer (Phase 1 or Phase 2 ) just continue working on your coursework and submit when you have finished so long as this is by 3 August 2020.
Rachel has been working on an assignment and was aiming for the published deadline but has found it really difficult to find a quiet space at home to get the work finished. She only needs a couple of extra days.
No problem, as long as Rachel submits within 10 days of the published deadline her work will be marked within the usual marking period and no penalty applied.
Luca has caring responsibilities at home so is not able to complete his coursework on time. An extra two weeks is not likely to be sufficient without compromising the quality of his work so he needs more than the 10 day extension.
No problem, Luca can continue working on the same assignment and submit his work up to 03 August without the need to make any request for an extension. His work will be marked within the second marking period and no penalty will be applied.
Keira was working to the standard submission date of 4 May 2020. She needs to make use of the 10 working day extension but doesn’t know whether the 10 days includes the submission date or not.
The extension is added on to the standard submission date so the new deadline will be 4 May 2020 + 10 working days (19 May 2020 as this time period includes a Bank Holiday non-working day).
- If you submit your work within Phase 1 it will be marked in the first marking period by 26 June 2020 at the latest.
- If you submit your work within Phase 2 it will be marked in the second marking period by 4 September 2020 at the latest.
Dissertations/ final project submissions
- The original published submission date for your dissertation/ final project is the ‘standard’ submission date and you are encouraged to work to this date. The original published date will be visible on Evision. Please note this is the first deadline you were given not an extension which your project supervisor may have given.
- You can automatically submit your dissertation/ final project up to 10 working days after the standard date. You do not need to request this or submit evidence to support your extension. This would be referred to as a ‘Phase 1’ submission. This will not incur a late submission penalty.
- If your circumstances mean that you cannot submit your dissertation/ final project within Phase 1 then you must talk to your project supervisor to discuss your circumstances. If you make use of an extension you should continue working on the original piece unless arranged differently with your supervisor.
John is a finalist and he has been facing personal challenges and has a number of items still to complete. He has planned his work load and is confident the majority of items will be ready to submit within the 10 working day extension, but his dissertation project has fallen behind and he is worried there is still too much work to do.
No problem, John should contact his adviser and discuss a revised submission point which is realistic for him. In doing this his supervisor should consider with John what this might mean for his likely completion date so he is able to make an informed choice when setting the date agreed upon.
Examinations/Open Book Assessments
- You will be scheduled to take examinations/ open book assessments within a 24 hour period and wherever possible the date will be the same as your previously scheduled examination.
- If you believe yourself to be ‘unfit’ to sit on the day of your examination then you should not attempt to take it and will be eligible for a delayed first attempt within the later assessment/ reassessment period. You do not need to request this or submit evidence.
- If you have a delayed first attempt or reassessment then this will be with a revised assessment task.
- If you do sit your assessment but then feel afterwards that you were ‘unfit’ to sit then you can submit a retrospective EC request to sit it again in the later assessment/reassessment period. These requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis. You should submit evidence to support this if you have it but it is accepted that this may not be possible.
- Where a word count limit is stated a breach of greater than 10% at question level will lead to a fixed 10 point penalty at the assessment level. This will be applied no matter how many breaches you have made within the assessment.
- If you upload more than one document within the assessment period then the latest submission will be marked.
Louis has just completed his 2 hour open-book exam and uploaded his answer document. He is worried that he may not have correctly saved his final question answer and might therefore have uploaded the wrong version for marking.
No problem, Louis can resubmit the correct version without penalty, providing this is within the scheduled 24 hour period for assessment.
Nina is sitting her main series 2 hour ‘exam’ today and has planned to do this in the morning whilst her partner is available to look after their daughter. She’s worried that she may be interrupted though and her broadband has been really slow recently.
No problem, open- book exams are available for 24 hours so Nina can submit her work at any point within that timeframe. She should work offline in producing her answer document and can then just go online to upload once it’s completed. Sometimes plans are interrupted so whilst it would be ideal to ‘sit’ her exam in her chosen 2 hour slot she can take breaks or complete her work in a more flexible way as is most helpful within the 24 hour period. If something happens that means she is unable to sit her assessment today then she can choose not submit at all and will be automatically scheduled to have a delayed first sit in the later exam series.
- If you sit your examination/ open book assessment within the main exam series it will be marked in the first marking period by 26 June 2020 at the latest.
- If you sit your examination/ open book assessment within the delayed assessment/reassessment period it will be marked in the second marking period by 4 September 2020 at the latest.
- If you receive a fail mark for work submitted in Phase 1 or you fail to submit work by the end of Phase 2 and have not submitted ECs then you could be referred to reassessment.
- Reassessment of coursework will occur only if it is not possible for the failed assessment/module to be compensated.
- If you are referred to reassessment it will take place in one of the following periods:
a) 17th-28th August 2020. CW reassessment tasks will be released on 24th July
b) 19th-23rd October 2020. CW reassessment tasks will be released on 30th September
Compensation cannot happen if:
- The module is core and the module learning outcomes have not been met
- You have already reached the maximum allowable compensation limit
- You are in a counting year and have requested a reassessment opportunity
Returning from Interruption to complete outstanding assessments
- If you are an interrupted student due to return to undertake a delayed assessment or reassessment you will be subject to the arrangements available to current students. This includes the undertaking of modified activity; availability of delayed submission; or waiving of assessment items (as long as this does not take you above the allowable maximum amount of compensation for progression and it is in your best interests).
Questions and Answers
Q. What if my course is regulated by a PSRB? What is a PSRB? How do I know if my course is regulated by a PSRB?
A. Your School will provide a separate guidance document that outlines the assessment contingency measures they have been put in place to support you through this period. If you have any questions about this please contact your Course Director or Personal Adviser in the first instance.
A PSRB is a Professional, Statutory or Regulatory Body for example the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IfoA). If you are unsure whether your course is regulated then please ask your LTS Hub.
Q. I have already submitted my work - can I have an extension to 3 August?
No. You only have one opportunity to submit at first attempt so if you have already submitted your work then this will be the version that is marked. However if you are concerned that you will not pass this assessment you can submit an EC request and the pre-board Extenuating Circumstances Panel will determine whether you should be offered a Delayed Assessment opportunity during the August reassessment period, 17th-28th August.
Q. If I have Extenuating Circumstances and cannot submit my work by 3 August what happens? How do I submit an EC request?
If you cannot submit your work by 3 August you should submit a Consideration by Board of Examiners request ahead of your School’s pre-board Extenuating Circumstances Exam board in July. You should submit evidence to support this if you have it but it is accepted that this may not be possible.
Our 10 point plan for undergraduate students
We are receiving queries about how we are protecting students’ interests and managing assessments. Some universities have said that they will use a student’s Semester One average mark as a year average should their actual year average be lower following the completion of their Spring semester and we are being asked about this approach.
UEA’s academic year and assessment structure is distinctive. We have a tradition of providing feedback on formative work, have fewer summative items earlier in the academic year and do not have a winter exam period in December or January. Therefore, many of our students have fewer summative marks from Semester One and, when the Government’s lockdown happened, they still had the majority of their assessments ahead of them. (We recognize that those students on programmes in medicine, health, pharmacy etc. that are regulated by a Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Body [PSRBs] have summative assessments that occur across the academic year).
Therefore, after careful consideration, including liaising with a range of other universities and with other national higher education bodies, we are introducing a set of measures to ensure that students are not disadvantaged and there is a ‘safety net’ in place to protect their degree classification. Our measures have also been designed in discussion with the UEA Students’ Union and with two key concerns in mind.
- First, we must maintain academic standards and ensure the value of our degrees, as required by the Office for Students, the Department for Education, the Quality Assurance Agency and other regulatory bodies. These concerns are echoed by those students who have contacted us concerned about the academic year 2019/20 being seen as “lower value” with degrees not viewed as comparable with other years.
- Second, we are keen to support our students to be able to progress and succeed in their studies and we recognise the significant challenges that many will inevitably face as a result of the COVID-19 disruption. We therefore want the burden of assessment to be as light as possible and we want to put in place safeguards to support students and relieve their stress.
To this end, we have put in place the following 10 measures:
1) We have moved all teaching and learning activity on-line. Staff are preparing teaching and support sessions for delivery online for the remaining teaching weeks of the term after Easter and, for those on PSRB courses, for the duration of the programme timetable for this academic year.
2) We have reviewed and redesigned all assessments due from 13th March 2020, liaising with PSRBs where required. We will ensure we only assess learning necessary to demonstrate the achievement of course-level learning outcomes. This will mean that some assessments may now cover more than one module, and some will be waived completely.
3) For Year 0 and Year 1 students marks do not contribute to their degree classification. This means that we have been able to waive a considerable proportion of assessment, except in a small number of specific circumstances (including where PSRBs govern curriculum and assessment) in order to remove additional stress from students.
4) For Year 2, 3 and 4 students (and Year 5 for medical students), we have reviewed all upcoming assessment items and have made modifications wherever possible to ensure that there is an opportunity to participate while reducing the number of assessments.
5) We have introduced blanket extensions of 10 working days for all written assignments without the need to make a request or to provide any evidence. If students feel that this still will not be enough time for them to complete their assessed work they can have a further automatic extension until 3 August 2020 if absolutely necessary.
6) In the case of exams or an assessment ‘event’, any student who is not able to sit an assessment will be automatically provided with another first attempt opportunity in the next assessment session without the need for request or provision of any evidence.
7) We have re-designed examinations that were scheduled for the summer examination period as online assessment exercises so they can be taken by all students wherever they will be in the world and at a time that suits them within a 23 to 24-hour window. Some of the scheduled examinations have now been replaced with a coursework assignment and others have been waived altogether.
8) For final year students not on PSRB courses, the requirements are:
a) Passing all ‘core’ modules;
b) Achieving a credit weighting average mark for the year of 40%; and
c) Passing modules worth at least 80 credits in total
For the purposes of degree classification, we will introduce a safety-net so that a student’s final year average cannot be lower than the average they have attained in the previous counting year of study. This safety net means that your degree classification can only be improved by undertaking any further assessments and there should be no detriment to your participation in assessment.
9) For penultimate year students not on PSRB courses, (Year 2 for Undergraduate Bachelors students and Year 3 for Integrated Masters students), the requirements are:
a) Passing all ‘core’ modules;
b) Achieving a credit weighting average mark for the year of 40%; and
c) Passing modules worth at least 80 credits in total
For the purposes of degree classification, we will introduce a safety-net so that students are not disadvantaged. When we calculate your degree classification at the end of next academic year (2020/21), if your year average in 2020/21 is higher than your year average for 2019/20, we will exclude this year’s year average and only use your final year average in the calculation. This means that your current year-average mark will be ‘safety – netted’ and your final degree classification can only be improved by undertaking further assessments this year. There should be no detriment from your participation in assessment in the remainder of this academic year.
10) If the academic year 2019/20 is a counting year for degree classification purposes but is not your penultimate year, (for example, if you are a second year student on an Integrated Masters degree course), we will use the 2020/21 year average mark if it is higher, instead of the 2019/20 mark, in calculating your degree classification.
What does this mean for Foundation and Year 1 students?
Marks from Foundation Years and from Year One do not count towards degree classification. Consequently, our approach will be to only ask you to undertake assessment that is considered essential in terms of learning and skills, which we refer to as being “core”, to your course.
We will be amending our regulations for this year only to enable you to progress to your next year of study subject to you:
a) Passing all “core” (essential) modules: and
b) Passing modules worth at least 60 credits in total.
If you are studying a Foundation year and you have been given a mark you need to achieve to progress to a particular degree course, then the assessment opportunities will be given to allow you every opportunity to achieve this. The impact of the special measures put in place in response to COVID-19 will be taken into consideration and students performance considered sympathetically.
Your School will inform you of the detailed requirements in early April.
See below for more detail on
· our approach to coursework and examinations
· our approach to assessment, delayed assessment and re-assessment
What does this mean for Year Two, Three, Four, and Five students?
Marks from these years of study count towards degree classification. Consequently, you will be given the opportunity to demonstrate the achievement of your course’s learning outcomes. However, Schools are seeking to minimise the assessment burden on you and so where your learning, knowledge and skills have already been demonstrated you will not be asked to do this again. And so you should expect there may be changes in both the amount of assessment you are required to do and in the type of assessment. Your School will inform you of the detailed requirements in early April.
We will be amending our regulations for this year only to enable you to complete the year and progress to your next year of study or if a finalist to complete your course, subject to you:
a) Passing all “core” modules: and
b) Achieving a credit weighted average mark for the year of 40%: and
c) Passing modules worth at least 80 credits in total.
See below for more detail on
· our approach to coursework and examinations
· our approach to assessment, delayed assessment and re-assessment.
Our Degree classification safety net
Final year students
For the purposes of degree classification, we will introduce a safety net so that your final year average cannot be lower than the average you have attained in the previous counting year of study. This safety net means that your degree classification can only be improved by undertaking any further assessments.
For penultimate year students
For the purposes of degree classification, we will introduce a safety net so that you are not disadvantaged. At the end of your course in 2020/21, we will use the higher of your two year averages for 2019/20 and 2020/21 as the counting year average for your second year in the degree classification calculation (or third year for Integrated Masters students). This means that your current year-average mark will be ‘safety – netted’.
For other continuing students for whom 2019/20 is a counting year
If the academic year 2019/20 is a counting year for degree classification purposes but is not your penultimate year, (for example, if you are a second year student on an Integrated Masters degree course) we will substitute your 2020/21 year average mark, if it is higher than your 2019/20 average year mark, for your 2019/20 mark when calculating your degree classification.